Safe Harbour? We’ve Got It Here
Canada’s newest marine protected area includes habitat for char, beluga, polar bears and murres—and that’s just for starters.
This past November, the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories announced the creation of the country’s newest marine protected area: Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam.
Located in the Beaufort Sea at Darnley Bay, near the Inuvialuit community of Paulatuk, the protected area is an ecologically productive region for many marine species. The designation is based on both scientific and traditional knowledge, and was developed in collaboration with the Inuvialuit, industry, non-government organizations and other stakeholder groups.
Here, five more details worth knowing. 1. IN EURO TERMS With an area 2,361 square kilometres, Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam is slightly smaller than Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries in Europe.
2. A WORLD LEADER Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam is home to some 40,000 beluga whales each summer, representing about a quarter of the world population.
3. THE ONE AND ONLY The only thick-billed murre colony in Canada’s Western Arctic is found within Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam.
4. SAFE AT HOME The region also provides important habitat for species such as Arctic char, cod, bearded and ringed seals, polar bears and many species of birds.
5. NUMBER 9... NUMBER 9 Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam is Canada’s ninth marine protected area and the second designated in the Arctic. Canada has committed to designating 10 per cent of coastal waters as protected areas by 2020 under the UN Convention on Biodiversity.